The U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament is in full swing, and we witnessed some exciting match-ups in the group stages. Eight teams made it to this tournament, and there are four still left standing. Which team will go home with the U23 AFCON title when it's all said and done? In this article, we'll cover the predictions for each round of fixtures; we'll update this page after every round, so you can check back for new updates.
All set for the U23 AFCON semifinals.
Morocco 🇲🇦 v Mali 🇲🇱
Egypt 🇪🇬 v Guinea 🇬🇳
— Micky Jnr ✪ (@MickyJnr__) July 1, 2023
What's at stake for these teams?
We've already established that four teams made it through to the knockout stages of this competition. It may also interest you to know that there's a lot on the line for these teams, and it's not just the U23 AFCON title. Three of these teams will get to play in the Summer Olympics in Paris next year.
What this means is, the winners of Tuesday's semi-final matches will automatically secure a place in the Olympics. Also, the losers will face each other in a third-place match, and whoever wins that game will earn the third spot in Paris next year.
Semifinals of the AFCON U23:
✅Morocco 🇲🇦 vs 🇲🇱 Mali
✅Egypt 🇪🇬 vs 🇬🇳 Guinea
3 nations will represent Africa at the Paris 2024 Olympics. The 4th-place team will go to an intercontinental play-off to win an additional place at the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/jrok2tYWWK
— Sportsman of the year (@savageoflagos) July 2, 2023
Egypt vs Guinea
In the previous rounds, we mentioned that Egypt have arguably the best defense amongst all the teams in this competition. Rogerio Micale's boys went through the group stages without conceding a single goal; they also kept seven clean sheets in their last eight matches, conceding just one in that stretch. Conversely, the defending champions haven't particularly scored many goals; they averaged exactly a goal per game in the group stages. It's worth mentioning that all of Egypt's last 13 matches went below the 2.5 goal mark; and for this reason, we shouldn't expect many goals in this match.
Egypt vs Guinea prediction: Under 2.5 total goals.
Morocco vs Mali
It's important to note that Morocco and Mali have been the highest-scoring sides in the U23 AFCON competition so far. The host nation leads in the goal-scoring category, having registered eight goals in three group matches. They've been very consistent when it comes to finding the net, scoring in eight consecutive matches across all competitions. Similarly, Mali scored five goals in the group stages; they registered at least one goal in six of their last seven matches too. Taking into account how these teams don't have much trouble finding the back of the net, we should expect goals at both ends.
Morocco vs Mali prediction: Both teams to score.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago